If your child suffers from bouts of anxiety, then it can sometimes be difficult to do everyday tasks. Your child may insist that they can’t do something. For them, their fear is very real. Simply saying “You’ll be fine” or “Don’t worry about it” is often not enough to calm a child with anxiety. Using the right phrases during a time of anxiety can help connect without making fears worse, while also offering support and encouragement. If you are a parent of a child with anxiety, try out a few of these phrases to see how your child reacts to them.
Calming Phrases for Parents of Children with Anxiety
- “I am here. You are safe.” This phrase reminds your child that you are their rock when their fears feel out of control and they feel overwhelmed. No matter how scary something seems, they can take comfort that a parent is there for support.
- “Tell me about it.” Sometimes, children just need a little time to talk about their fears in order to process them. Don’t immediately jump to finding solutions; just let your child talk about what is scaring them and let them work it out.
- “What do you want to tell your worry?” Explain that worry is like a “worry bug” that comes a goes, telling them to feel worried. When they start to feel worried, they can tell the worry bug “Go away!” or “I don’t have to listen to you!”
- “Can you draw it?” For children who have a hard time verbalizing their emotions, drawing can be key for expressing how they feel. Drawing and painting is therapeutic, and as your child gets their worries down on paper, they may even start to feel better! After they are done, you can sit down with your child an inspect their drawing to talk about their worries.
- “Let’s change the ending.” Many children who suffer from anxiety feel like they are stuck in a never-ending pattern of recurring fears. Tell your child a story about themselves but leave off the ending. Let your child come up with new endings to the story. Some of them can be silly, but at least one should be realistic for your child.
The Connections Therapy Center
The Connections Therapy Center serves families of children and adolescents with disabilities and special needs. We are a team of experts in the fields of pediatric speech, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and behavioral sciences. As a team, we offer intensive hands-on therapy for children and adolescents, as well as informative and useful resources for families. If you are interested in learning more about what we can do to help your family, visit us online or give us a call at (202) 561-1110 (Washington, D.C. office) or (301) 577-4333 (Lanham office). Want to get more information on how to help your child thrive? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest.